The year was 2008 & Japan unveiled DREAM 1

"Knees to the head of a downed opponent should be legal across the board. Those were the days, DREAM, PRIDE, K-1, man."

By: June M. Williams | 4 months ago
The year was 2008 & Japan unveiled DREAM 1
Debut of DREAM MMA Promotion Lightweight Tournament 1

Welcome to the 6th Round Retro Post-Fight Show

This is the show that digs into the archives and gives you a comprehensive review of classic MMA events that span as far back as UFC 1, PRIDE, K-1, and now DREAM!

This Episode: DREAM 1

Join Eddie Mercado & Victor Rodriguez as they delve into the world of DREAM (a popular MMA Promotion) based out of Japan. We conducted a retroactive post-fight show for the inaugural ‘DREAM 1: Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 1st Round’ event this week, straight out of the archives of yesteryear. So let’s take a trip back to Sat, Mar 15, 2008.

The guys will explore the inaugural MMA Promotions event, which featured the first seven tournament bouts, fought at 154 lbs (70 kg), along with a trio of open-weight fights – complete with results, analysis, and of course a few laughs. The event was broadcast LIVE across Japan on the TBS Television network, from the Saitama Super Arena, in Saitama, Japan. The event remarkably attracted a sellout crowd for its debut, with 19,120 viewers.

For those of you not in the know, the ‘DREAM Grand Prix Tournament Series’ required all bouts be fought under their own ‘DREAM Mixed Martial Arts Rules’, which amounted to a ten-minute first round and a five-minute second round, with the fights judged overall.

The evening’s main event showcased the 2007 ‘HERO’s Middleweight Champion’, J. Z. Calvancanti of Brazil throwing down with Japan’s own judoka, Shinya Aoki. “HERO’s” was another Japanese MMA Promotion at the time, affiliated with K-1. HERO’s was discontinued in order to create the new DREAM franchise in collaboration with former PRIDE FC executives, after the UFC acquired PRIDE. And if you aren’t familiar with PRIDE – well, I don’t know what to tell you… you had best go down a google-search-rabbit-hole this weekend and learn about one of the most innovative and legendary promotions in the history of the sport.

Anyway, we had the exciting, fun, new, promising DREAM MMA Promotion debuting a tournament series with a card featuring a total of ten bouts; with half of them ending in finishes! Take away the four decisions and we got three knockouts and two submissions… then throw in one no contest thanks to an injury via illegal elbows (which btw, spoiler alert, happened to be the result of the main event) and you had one helluva event.

Watch with us

If you would like to watch the bouts, Victor says he found the event on YouTube in its entirety. I had no such luck, but was able to locate most of the individual bouts and some highlight reels, they are all linked into this post. As of the time of this writing, a message has gone out to Victor to try to obtain this elusive link; if located, the post will be updated with it as soon as possible. If a bout was split into two clips, I have them one after the other in the timestamp segment of the post below.

Join us to rediscover all the action and discuss as we go along! Let’s check it out!


0:00INTRO: TO THE SHOW / Segue into the event…
8:50 Opener:Ikusha ‘Minowa-Man’ Minowa (40-27-8) vs. the debuting Korean Baseball Pitcher, Lee Kwan Bum (0-1), who never fought again after the one minute and 25 second bout, ending in a killer kneebar.
12:25Bout 2:Hayato Sakurai (32-7-2) vs. Hidetaka Monma (14-8-3), knocked out (punches) in 4:12 of Round 1
6:55 Bout 3: Joachim Hansen (17-6-1) defeated Kotetsu Boku (5-7) via UD in the first tourney match on the card
20:18 Bout 4:Luiz Firmino (12-3) submits Kazuyuki Miyata (5-7) vía Rear Naked Choke at 7:37 of Round 1
28:00 Bout 5:Katsuhiko Nagata (4-2) wins via UD over Artur Umakhanov (9-4)
30:16 Bout 6:Mitsuhiro Ishida (16-3-1) wins via UD over Bu Kyung Jung (0-2)
32:38 Bout 7:Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipović (23-6-2) knocks out (punches) Tatsuya Mizuno (3-3) in a mere 56 seconds
35:26 Bout 8:Eddie Alvarez (13-1) knocks out (punches) Andre Amade (6-2-1) at 6:47 of the first round
40:00 Bout 9
Co-Main Event:
Tatsuya Kawajiri wins via UD over Kultar Gill (7-7)
42:02 Bout 10 Main Event:Shinya Aoki (14-2) fights to a no contest ending with Gesias Cavalcante (14-1-1) injured by illegal elbows only three minutes and 46 seconds into the first round
49:36 Recap | 51:50 Show Wrap Up | 52:17 OUTRO

Have you loved this show? We always have. Sadly, this is the final round for the RETRO…

Due to our Podcast Network now being 100% listener-financed, we have been forced to make some changes to our Broadcast Schedule recently. We crunched the numbers, looked at the ratings, listened to feedback and just had no choice but to let some shows go, at least for now. 

In addition to letting some shows go, we also made the decision to cease production of “non-UFC-event week podcast content”…. the RETRO falls into that category, and we are all sad to see it retired. We would like to sincerely thank you all for listening to Vic and Eddie here on the Bloody Elbow Podcast Network over the years, though. And thanks for joining us here today, as well.

If you want to keep our new broadcast schedule going and hopefully help us bring you new content in the future, please consider pledging your support to our podcast team and becoming a paid Substack subscriber by giving us your email and five bucks (one less Happy Meal, you guys.) Do it now, the button is right here ↘︎

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Follow Eddie at @TheEddieMercado and Vic at @VicMRodriguez us as @BloodyElbow on twitterfacebookinstagram, and at & Thanks for Listening!

DREAM 1, 6th Round RETRO Podcast, Eddie Mercado, Victor Rodriguez,

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About the author
June M. Williams
June M. Williams

June M. Williams is the Bloody Elbow Ombudsperson, Lead Fixer, Author, Statistician, Watch Party Moderator, and Podcast Network & Syndication Manager.

She began work for the Combat Sports Division of SB Nation in 2010, making Bloody Elbow her primary home since 2014.

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